I'll be relatively honest – I love Northlane. I like to utilise several lists, and they are def. at the top of my "Bands I listen to regularly 'cause they’re sick" list. I warn you of this only to admit that there MIGHT be bias in my opinion of their new album Mesmer; however, I like to think that my familiarity with their music means that I might have some insight when comparing it to earlier work, so if you’re going for word count, this explanation is the play.
I’m all about riffs, and usually the more that they bounce, the more I can dig it. Northlane is no stranger to a good bounce, and Mesmer has a solid fill of bounce-bounce. I’m currently listening to track 6 entitled "Intuition," and the riffs range from syncopated, dare I say "djenty" riffs, to ones that I can only describe as droves of notes, super-charged by a kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare rhythm. And, after a *pause* "*expletive* the system!" the breakdown level bounce takes control of your shoulders, and you’ll find yourself doing involuntary shoulder shrugs to the rhythm of breakdown. It’s truly magical.
Speaking of magic, this album has a solid amount of jamz with open moments filled w/ ambience that really allows for the vocals to shine, and some of them flip on a dime into grooves. Mmmmmm… my favourite. Tastefully sophisticated, one of my fave aspects of the writing on this album is that I’m on cover-to-cover listen number 5 or 6, and I’m as enthralled w/ the music as I was on the first listen. Not too techy, not too predictable – a musical Dorito of sorts with a mystery ingredient that you just can’t figure out, so you come back for more.
Also, drummer Nic Petterson is the real MVP, soooo in the pocket with his playing on this album with perfectly placed extra toppings all over the place. Not all heroes wear capes, but if he DID, he deserves to wear whatever he wants.